Old is New Again
Words by Jennifer Simonson Photos by Parker Thornton
A pair of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg horn-rimmed eyes peer at you as you swing open the back door into Vintage Heart Coffee. However, instead of passing through the ashy summertime heat into a glitzy gold interior, on the other side of this door is a quiet living room where soft music buzzes below the whir of the espresso machine. Other than that, there is silence and the wonderful smell of coffee.
Despite the quantity of caffeine flowing into lovingly chipped porcelain cups, no phones ring, conversations are muted, and baristas greet you with languid smiles. Even the sunshine seems soft as it streams through the floor-to-ceiling windows to the floor.
A simple chalkboard lists the drinks—the most notable of which is the signature cold brew coffee. “It is the beans we use,” explains barista Allison Anlers. “Third Coast Coffee Roasters does a great job of blending beans specifically for our cold brew coffee.”
Served over ice in a Mason jar, the cold coffee is a refreshing caffeination that can help you withstand even the hottest days. With bright Nicaraguan beans that release hints of vanilla and sweeter, less acidic notes of chocolate humming off the Colombian beans, Vintage Heart’s cold brew is the perfect blend. And their selection is about to get better.
Vintage Heart Coffee opened in 2012 and was one of the first coffee shops in the neighborhood. After five years, as a quiet place with great coffee, a friendly staff, and a cozy locale to study or work, this converted bungalow is about to reveal a new coffee concept.
With fair trade coffee bought from small batch coffee co-ops, vegan and gluten-free pastries and the house-made simple syrups to make drinks such as Mocha Lavender Lattes and Rosemary Lemonades already on the menu, co-owner Abigail King is stepping outside of the box. Currently, she is in the process of transforming the original coffee shop into a dog-loving, kid-friendly neighborhood foodie destination for not just coffee lovers, but for those seeking good beer, good wine, and good food.
Early this fall, the shaded alley running along side the building will be converted into a greenery patio to provide additional seating for the incoming food trailers. The two existing food trailers, Granny’s Tacos and Boteco, will remain. The Doughminican, a food trailer serving native Dominican favorites, is opening in its new location this August. Goody Goody Gumbo, which serves traditional and vegan/GF gumbos, is slated to move in this fall.
Inside the shop, the coffee menu will stay virtually the same. Don’t worry—they are not touching the cold brew. The menu will just be expanding to offer local, vegan favorites such as La Pâtisserie pastries, sandwiches from The Green Cart, juices from Daily Greens, and KTonic Kombucha.
Once the beer and wine license is secure, The Austin Shaker will curate a small selection of international wines along with a rotating assortment of local craft beers such as Blue Owl’s Czech Pils and Austin Beerworks’ Fire Eagle IPA, and because no bar in Austin can be considered legitimate unless they serve the state beer of Texas, frosty Lone Star tallboys will be available for the thirsty.
Lavender Lemonade: house-made lavender syrup made with fresh lavender buds and San Pellegrino Limonata
Cold Brew Coffee: house-made with Frios Mio beans from Third Coast Coffee Roasters in South Austin
Did You Know? Starting this fall, following the remodel, Vintage Heart Coffee will begin hosting live music, film screenings, and other events.
1405 E 7th Street